Mike Halford

ST. LOUIS, MO - JANUARY 1: Jay Bouwmeester #19 of the St. Louis Blues skates during the 2017 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic Practice Day  at Busch Stadium on January 1, 2017 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
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WATCH LIVE: Blues-‘Hawks, Winter Classic from Busch Stadium

The weather might not be perfect, but the 2017 Winter Classic is a go.

Rain has been falling in St. Louis throughout this morning and early afternoon, but that won’t keep the Blues and Blackhawks from renewing their rivalry at 1 p.m. ET from Busch Stadium.

You can catch the game on TV on NBC, or watch online using NBC Sports’ Live Extra.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

Some relevant linkage for today’s affair:

Start time stays the same, here’s the updated weather forecast

What happens if it’s raining?

 

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    Coyotes claim Burmistrov off waivers from Jets

    Alexander Burmistrov
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    Arizona GM John Chayka’s made a habit of acquiring low-cost, low-risk assets this season, and that trend continued on Monday.

    Per Sportsnet, the Coyotes have claimed Alexander Burmistrov off waivers from the Jets. Burmistrov, 25, has long been a guy high on talent and pedigree — he was the eighth overall pick in 2010 — but one that’s struggled to find consistency at the NHL level.

    He’s routinely been a healthy scratch for the Jets this year and, recently, expressed frustration about his lack of playing time.

    “It’s tough, tough for me because I do not know why I’m not playing, you know,” said Burmistrov, per the Winnipeg Free Press. “I never have a conversation with the coach, so he never tell me why I’m not playing.”

    Maurice, for the record, said there have been numerous conversations with Burmistrov — who has no goals and two assists in 23 games — and the Jets have reportedly been testing the trade market.

    As mentioned above, Chayka does have history in trying to find diamonds in the rough (for lack of a better term). He previously snagged Josh Jooris off waivers from the Rangers, and gave up a seventh-round pick to pry Peter Holland out of Toronto.

    It’s worth pointing out that Jooris, Holland and Burmistrov all play center. The Coyotes were thin at that position following Brad Richardson‘s badly broken leg, and the club has been rumored to be moving top middle man Martin Hanzal in a trade.

    Burmistrov, who did leave the Jets for a two-year KHL sabbatical, is in the last year of a deal that pays $1.55 million annually.

     

    Everything’s coming up Matthews!

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    Nice little week for Auston Matthews.

    On Monday, he registered a goal and an assist in a win over Florida. On Tuesday, he did the same in a win over Tampa Bay. Yesterday, he scored a pair of goals, including the OT winner, in a Centennial Classic victory over Detroit.

    Today? He’s the NHL’s first star of the week.

    All told, the Toronto rookie finished his three-game stretch with four goals and six points, pushing him into the freshman lead with 20 tallies — passing Winnipeg sniper Patrik Laine in the process — and points, with 32.

    Matthews scored first star honors ahead of Rangers forward Chris Kreider (2nd), and Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (3rd).

    Related: Auston Matthews is having a rookie season for the ages

    ‘Probably going to be changes’ in Colorado, says veteran McLeod

    Arizona Coyotes v Colorado Avalanche
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    We’ve written extensively on the tire fire that is the Colorado Avalanche — see here and here and here and here and here — and throughout, one question has always been asked:

    When will GM Joe Sakic shake things up?

    It seems like everybody watching this team anticipates some sort of move. And that feeling resonates within the dressing room, too.

    “Anytime you’re dead last in the league, things aren’t good,” veteran tough guy Cody McLeod said, per the Denver Post. “Doesn’t matter what league you’re playing in — whether it’s baseball, basketball or football. There’s probably going to be changes — I have no idea — but we’re professionals and we’re paid to go out there and play hard.

    “To a man in this room, everybody has to bring more.”

    The longest-serving player on the Avs roster — this is his tenth year in Denver — McLeod could end up being one of those players shown the door. He was used plenty by former head coach Patrick Roy, especially last year, when he scored eight goals and 13 points while appearing in all 82 games.

    But this year, his role has diminished under Jared Bednar.

    McLeod’s only played in 24 of 36 games, was a healthy scratch on opening night and had his alternate captaincy taken away in the preseason. Combine that with his salary (two years left at $1.33M per), and it’s safe to suggest he could be shopped as the deadline draws closer.

    The 32-year-old isn’t the only veteran that could be on the move. Pending UFA Jarome Iginla has already been asked about his willingness to leave Colorado at the deadline.

    Saga continues: Leafs send little-used Corrado to AHL for conditioning

    TORONTO, ON - MARCH 5:  Frank Corrado #20 of the Toronto Maple Leafs waits for a puck drop against the Ottawa Senators during an NHL game at the Air Canada Centre on March 5,2016 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Senators defeated the Maple Leafs 3-2. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
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    If Frank Corrado was hoping for a fresh start in 2017, he sorta got his wish.

    On Monday, the Leafs announced Corrado had been sent to the AHL Marlies on a conditioning stint. This puts a halt to one of the most infamous NHL “campaigns” of the year — Corrado, 25, has been on the active roster the entire season yet sat as a healthy scratch for 35 of Toronto’s 36 games.

    His lone appearance came in a 4-1 loss to Pittsburgh on Nov. 12 –he received just 16:24 of ice time, the least of any Leafs defenseman.

    Back in mid-December, a visibly frustrated Corrado voiced his displeasure.

    “At the end of the day, the coach is the one who makes the lineup and if the coach doesn’t like you, then you’re not going to play,” he said on Thursday, per The Athletic. “And that’s where I’m at right now.”

    Corrado was asked about his situation following the trade of another little-used Leaf — Peter Holland, who was flipped to Arizona after a series of healthy scratches. Holland, like Corrado, was never regarded as a Babcock favorite.

    Corrado repeated several times he finds this current situation frustrating, though he did say that GM Lou Lamoriello has been supportive, and insists the club wants the d-man in the mix. But Lamoriello doesn’t want to lose an asset for nothing — which could happen if he waives Corrado to try and send him to the Marlies — so he has to keep him with the Leafs.

    Or, send him for a two-week stint with the Marlies.

    It’ll be curious to see how Corrado reacts to this latest development because, back in mid-December, he sounded like a guy nearing his breaking point.

    “It’s frustrating now,” Corrado said. “When you don’t get to play for a month and a half, and you’ve played in one game all year, it takes its toll on you mentally… Yeah, you’re in the NHL. It’s not that the novelty has worn off; it’s just that it’s time to play. It’s time to have a career.

    “I feel like the more I’m not playing, that’s food off my table. That’s kind of the way I see it right now.”